Throughout our 3 year history, we’ve enjoyed successes, experienced growing pains, and ultimately adapted our vision into the exciting concept it is today. In order for you to understand how this company came to be, you need to hear about the challenges that shaped us. Each time GLN experienced unforessen challenges, we reassessed, we evolved and we returned to the fray stronger than before. I’m proud of where we stand now and I’m grateful for the trials which forced us to adapt, evolve and overcome.
On December 16th, 2014, in a humble Missouri office, I started Game Loot Network as nothing more than an idea. My goal was to create the ultimate social gaming community. I wanted to connect gamers and developers within a synergistic and collaborative community to solve the pain that was being experienced within the exploding gaming industry. I recruited an international team of veteran developers to give our vision life, eventually creating Game Loot’s proof-of-concept and MVP (minimal viable product).
Always seeking to reinforce our ranks with talent, I attended the San Francisco Game Development Conference on March 5th, 2015. It was there that I met the principals of Braincloud. They were one of only three backend systems in the world which provided a robust platform for the independent game developer community to build their games and enable them to compete against the gaming giants in the industry. I explained the vision for Game Loot Network and we both realized we had tremendous synergies and common goals. We then agreed to lock arms and just like that GLN secured it’s backend platform as the foundation of our gaming community.
At this point, GLN’s momentum was increasing rapidly. Our team had come together and successfully transformed what started as just an idea, into a scrappy startup. I wanted to share the knowledge I’d gained from my time at the helm of a young company. To that end, on March 21st, 2015, I published my first book: Game Loot: Grab Your Piece of the Mobile Gaming Revolution. This book explained the process of monetizing social contacts and applying it to the gaming industry. The e-book version of Game Loot released through Barnes and Noble and Amazon.
May of that same year held several milestones for GLN. On May 1st, we distributed our initial three games on the Google Play Store and the Apple Store. That same day, we launched our Game Ambassador affiliate program. Later that month, on May 24th, months of conversations, interviews, and negotiations concluded when Pat Baggette signed on as GLN’s CFO and General Counsel. During his time as CFO of an extremely successful software company, VinSolutions, Pat helped guide the business through massive growth until its eventual $160 million dollar sale to Auto Trader. His leadership and experience promised to further enrich our gaming revolution and provide critical experience and resources to take our vision to the next level.
On July 4th, 2015, months of planning and development came to fruition with the release of Loot Cove’s alpha version. GLN never sought to solely just create games. We wanted to engineer quality content which not only entertained but rewarded gamers for playing. Loot Cove introduced a fully integrated gamified prize platform to our gaming eco-system. Games were no longer confined to virtual space; we had real-world prizes.
As GLN continued to evolve, we wanted to foster our company’s culture and community. On September 29th, 2015, we held an open house in the new 5,000 square foot Game Loot headquarters. The event attracted over 250 people, a list which included shareholders, community leaders, and Game Ambassador affiliates from around the country.
As we enjoyed continued success, the time came to expand the scope of our vision. On January 1st, 2016, we began plans for a June 2016 beta launch. The next phase of Game Loot Network meant more games and further revisions. We restructured the Game Ambassador Affiliate program and readied Loot Cove 2.0 for launch.
Preparing for our beta period was no easy feat. Fortunately, commitment to our broadening vision led us to opportunities with investors. Through Mr. Baggette, we were able to meet Doug Kinney, former CEO of VinSolutions. Following negotiations, Doug agreed to sign on as our primary investor on March 15th, 2016. With Doug’s involvement, we were ready to initiate our beta launch. On June 1st, 2016, GLN’s beta went live in 9 countries, and the Game Ambassador affiliate program amassed $125,000 in revenue in its first month.
Unfortunately, rampant and uncontrolled growth yielded several unforeseen consequences. We did over $500,000 in gross revenue in July, $1.2 million in August, and $1.8 million in October. This unexpected growth exposed several vulnerabilities in our systems. After an extensive audit of our database we discovered multiple accounts under the same identity as well as users enrolling from countries that we hadn’t opened. Users had exploited a lack of account verification to commit credit card fraud and stack affiliate commissions. We had only opened 9 countries for our beta launch, but after completing our audit, we realized we had users that had enrolled from over 115 countries, the majority of which did so using fake addresses in order to bypass our attempt at a controlled beta launch.
In order to curtail the damages, we instituted mandatory account validation for all existing users, deleted duplicate or non-verified accounts, and repudiated fraudulent commissions. After analyzing demographics, we isolated and excluded countries which had committed large amounts of credit card and affiliate commissions fraud. Though our beta test illustrated several weaknesses, it was successful in other ways. This difficult period led us to explore much stronger mechanisms to strengthen security and to ultimately prepare for a global launch.
Eager to share how we’d learned and evolved, on October 16th, 2016, we hosted a kickoff event at the Linq Hotel in Las Vegas. Over 600 members of the Game Loot community attended to learn about our future plans. With an impressive schedule of speakers, including a keynote address by Paul Winterhalder, Chief Development Officer of Braincloud, we announced our Game Loot Developers program set to launch in the first quarter of 2017.
Over the next few months, several key changes occurred for GLN. We moved into a new 7,500 square foot state-of-the-art headquarters. Shortly after this transition, Doug Kinney agreed to our offer to become CEO of Game Loot Network. I was thrilled with the additional leadership and experience that I found in Doug’s and Pat’s previous experience in growing and managing a software company that had previously experienced its own explosive growth phases (prior to being acquired by Auto Trader) which has proven to be invaluable. We were now ready to reload and relaunch GLN globally.
On December 31st, 2016, Game Loot Network passed an important benchmark. During our 7 month beta period, we’d done over $5.3 million in total revenue. Although portions of that figure stemmed from our security vulnerabilities, the numbers confirmed GLN’s viral potential. With our concept proven and having implemented the enhancements necessary to prevent further system exploits, our company entered an exciting time of continued development and refinement.
To further prepare for global launch, we partnered with developers eager to craft compelling games for our social arcade. On February 21st, 2017, Play Brains studios released EGGIES through our Developers Program. The game had previously reached over 5 million downloads through Facebook and Apple. Noting the success of EGGIES, Play Brains scheduled several other games to be released through our program at later dates.
Throughout the next few months, we made significant steps towards a successful global debut. On April 4th, 2017, we received the coveted 925 Capital Readiness Score from Blue Moon Advisors. This process included preparing us for a third party accounting review to ready us for a Regulation CF (Crowd Fund) with the U.S. Security Exchange Commission. After a successful Form C filing with the SEC we decided to delay our crowd funding campaign as we explored potentially better alternatives that had recently become available.
During this time we found new ways to continue development while further strengthening GLN’s system security. We partnered with Uphold.com and integrated our system on top of their open API architecture which offered several huge advantages for both operations and marketing. The Uphold framework allows us to send and receive payments in 29 fiat currencies and 6 cryptocurrencies in over 210 countries. This integration meant we could INSTANTLY pay Game Ambassadors within our affiliate program, and each member would be KYC/AML verified through Uphold’s system. System breeches akin to what we experienced in our 2016 beta launch would now be next to impossible. We were slick and primed for an explosive global launch.
Although the pieces of a years long goal were coming into place, I wondered what more we could do to become a TRUE community for gamers and game developers. During this time, cryptocurrencies captivated global headlines and had become one of the hottest verticals in the world. Everyone seemed to be speculating on the future of BitCoin, Ethereum, and others, but the true potential I saw was how blockchain technology could enable GLN to become a TRUE community. By architecting and deploying our community on blockchain technology, we could not only create our own gaming currency, but also exponentially improve security and transparency for members of our community. The opportunities for our members was obvious and I began our search for a strategic partner to guide us through this process.
After an extensive search we found the incredible team at Sutton Stone. Their team had tremendous experience, not just in blockchain technology, but also every other area of expertise that would be required to architect and deploy the next evolution of GLN. Their team included several attorneys that were highly experienced and seasoned in ALL areas of blockchain that would be required to take this monumental step the right way. Their combined experience and resources would guide us in every aspect of business, legal, financial, technological, marketing, and intellectual property to properly structure our platform and company to deploy our own crypto-token on the blockchain.
As we move into 2018, we are now fully prepared to begin the next evolution of the gaming industry and we couldn’t be more excited. Every challenge we’ve experienced to date, have enabled and empowered us to forge and implement the necessary solutions, improvements and strategic partnerships to get to where we are today. We are now poised to begin our global launch beginning in January 2018. In the remaining days left in 2017, we will be providing information on how, when, and where you will be able to get a sneak peek of everything we have been working on over the last 12 months.
Years ago, one of my mentors shared with me the 4 phases of building a successful company. FORMING, STORMING, NORMING, and PERFORMING. We are entering the NORMING and PERFORMING phases of our company in 2018 and we look forward to you joining us in this adventure.
President, Game Loot Network